UCF Alumni Announces 2018 30 Under 30 Awards

By Jenna Marina Lee

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 30, 2018) – UCF Alumni announced the recipients of its fourth annual 30 Under 30 Awards on March 30. This year’s class includes marketing and communications professionals, entrepreneurs, engineers, software specialists, attorneys, education leaders, doctors, nurses, the youngest-elected Florida state representative and a football star, among others.

“This year’s 30 under 30 class is a group of trailblazing young alumni who have made an impact within their professions, communities and this university in the early stages of their careers. The record breaking accomplishments of this group is inspiring, and they rank as the best of the best from UCF’s accomplished young alumni base,” said Mike Kilbride ’12, chair of UCF’s Young Alumni Council. “UCF is a special place, and it is inspiring to see so many of our graduates building on their UCF experience to make an impact in our community and around the country. The entire Young Alumni Council is proud of this group of finalists, and on behalf of UCF, I extend my sincerest congratulations on this well-deserved accomplishment.”

The 30 Under 30 Awards program recognizes outstanding young alumni who strive for greatness in their professional and personal lives.

Open-nominations for the 2018 class were accepted on UCFAlumni.com from January-February. Nominations were reviewed and scored by UCF Alumni staff and previous 30 Under 30 recipients, and winners were selected by the UCF Young Alumni Council. The finalists were then confirmed by the UCF Alumni Board based on the following criteria:

• Must be a graduate of the University of Central Florida (undergraduate or graduate degree)
• Must be age 29 or under on May 19, 2018
• Nominees for 30 Under 30 must demonstrate a commitment to maintaining a lifelong relationship with Knights and strive to uphold UCF Young Alumni values of “Scholarship, Bold, Trailblazing, Generous, Resilient”
• Self nominations are not accepted

The winners will be recognized in a formal ceremony on campus at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center on May 19. Below is the complete slate of honorees, listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Yazen Abdin ’12
Immigration Attorney, NeJame Law
College of Sciences

Michelle (Skaf) Anderson ’12
Human Resources Manager, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Arielle Bardzell ’13
Associate Attorney, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
College of Sciences | College of Health and Public Affairs

Shane Chism ’12
Principal Program Manager Lead, Microsoft
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Shantavia Conner ’11 ’13MBA
Finance Director, City of Haines City
College of Business

Gregory Eisenberg ’13
CEO/Founder, The Commission on Local Debates
Executive Director, Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida
College of Undergraduate Studies

Jamison Gavin ’11
CEO, LegendVest
College of Sciences

Alexandra Gentry ’09 ’10MS
Director of Tax and Treasury, Bonnier Corporation
College of Business | Burnett Honors College

Sarah Gitto ’11 ’14MS ’17PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
College of Health and Public Affairs | College of Medicine

Shaquem Griffin ’16
Former Football Student-Athlete/Aspiring NFL Draft Pick, University of Central Florida
College of Sciences

Marlon Gutierrez ’11
Senior Marketing Manager, Student Loan Hero
College of Business

Joshua Haley ’12 ’14MS
Software Engineer, Assistant Technical Staff Lead, SoarTech
College of Engineering and Computer Science | Burnett Honors College

Shannon Hassett ’16
Registered Nurse II, Orlando Health
College of Nursing | Burnett Honors College

Ron Hawks ’12
Crisis Management Lead, Lockheed Martin
College of Health and Public Affairs

Brittany Howell ’10, PsyD
Psychologist, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Lakeland Outpatient Clinic
College of Sciences

Samuel Jimenez ’11 ’14MFA
Innovation Product Designer, AARP
College of Arts and Humanities

Michele (Mixon) Jones ’11 ’14MPA
Emergency Management Director, Martin County Fire Rescue
College of Sciences | College of Health and Public Affairs

Amber Mariano ’17
State Representative for Florida House District 36, State of Florida
College of Sciences | Burnett Honors College

Michael McGriskin ’10
Associate Attorney, Phelps Dunbar LLP
College of Business

David Moskovitz ’12
Director of Brokerage and Leasing, Cardinal Point Management
Rosen College of Hospitality Management

B. Mia Mota ’12
Attorney for Emerging and Established Technology Enterprises, The Tech Law Firm
College of Health and Public Affairs

Katherine Payares ’12 ’13MSW
Bariatric and Oncology Clinical Social Worker, Florida Hospital Celebration Health
College of Health and Public Affairs

Allison (Blum) Peterson ’10
Practice Manager, Pediatric Pulmonology and Dermatology, Memorial Healthcare System
College of Business

Eugene Pringle ’17EdD
Assistant Principal, Odyssey Middle School
College of Education and Human Performance

Kristi Ray ’13, DO
Family Medicine Resident Physician, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
College of Sciences | Burnett Honors College

Sara Singer ’10
Associate Attorney, Brydger & Porras LLP
College of Sciences

John Sparkman ’13 ’15MS
Vice President and Director of Research and Development, Limbitless Solutions
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Lindsey Turnbull ’10 ’12MA
CEO/Founder, MissHeard Media
College of Arts and Humanities | College of Sciences | Burnett Honors College

Heather (Grenitz) Ulbrik ’10
Test Engineering Associate Manager, Lockheed Martin
College of Engineering and Computer Science | Burnett Honors College

Demitria Vasilatis ’11, DVM
Post-Doctoral Residency, Clinical Pathology, William Pritchard Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of California, Davis
College of Sciences | Burnett Honors College

Five Things Alumni Need To Know This Week – Nov. 13, 2017


1. Last call to RSVP for Young Alumni’s Headshot Happy Hour! This free event for #AlumKnights ages 32 and younger will take place Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Three21 Marketing, located at 121 S. Orange Ave. Suite 980n. We’ll provide the photographer and food, you just have to show up photo-ready! RSVP by Monday, Nov. 13, to Anne Fitch at [email protected] Event Details

2. Light Up UCF’s opening weekend is upon us! Now in its 10th year, Light Up UCF will run from Nov. 17 through Dec. 31 and will feature all of the fan favorites, including the Ice Rink Pavilion, the Arctic Glide Ice Slide, the Ferris Wheel, the Winter Whirl, and Light Up Lane with photos with Santa. Purchase Tickets

3. The University of Central Florida Facebook page will livestream a special event on Tuesday, Nov. 14, about transitioning from student life to the professional world. The “Adulting in Action Panel” will start at 3 p.m. and features four alumni in various fields.

4. Before Saturday’s football game, UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White, PhD, led a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate construction on the new Roth Athletics Center, the headquarters of athletics administration. The two-story, 38,000-square-foot building will also house the school’s hall of fame honors. A special thanks to donors Bob and Carol Garvy, Tony and Sonja Nicholson and Ken Dixon ’75.

5. The League of American Bicyclists named UCF as a nationally recognized bicycle-friendly university last week. UCF joins 182 other universities designated as bicycle-friendly from the League of American Bicyclists.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week—August 28

1. Congrats to this year’s 30 Under 30 award winners, who were recognized in a special ceremony at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center over the weekend. View the gallery highlighting this outstanding group who is making its alma mater proud.

2. The countdown to college football is over! UCF Football is back in action this Thursday at 6 p.m. at home against FIU. Check out some new, exciting things the team has going on this year, and don’t forget to stop by UCF Alumni’s Indoor Tailgate, which kicks off at 3 p.m. Thursday at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center.

Out of town and in need of a watch party? Visit ucfalumni.com to find the most up-to-date information on locations for official watch parties nation-wide.

3. The UCF women’s soccer team knocked off No. 4 North Carolina on Friday in double overtime with a 2-1 win. To put it in the simplest terms: it’s a BIG deal. Read more about the historic win, and trust us, you’re going to want to watch this video:

4. The UCF College of Sciences Distinguished Speaker Series is back this September with six UCF faculty who are experts in topics relevant to the natural, computational, social or behavioral sciences and the developments in their respective fields. The 2017-18 series will be held monthly at Tuscawilla Country Club at 6 p.m., from September 2017 to April 2018 (excluding November and December).

5. Save the date for this year’s film fall showcase hosted by UCF School of Visual Arts and Design. Some of the finest examples from the previous year’s crop of student films will be brought together for a single night of celebration on Sept. 8 from 7-9:30 p.m.